Skip to main content

tv   Book Discussion on Machine Made  CSPAN  April 20, 2014 5:49pm-7:01pm EDT

5:49 pm
it's probably a better baloney, but i always like to say it. >> carnegies advisors uniquely american. i'm a nervous look at worldwide acceptance and what cultures with it very much accepted name? >> that's a good question, too. it is my impression from doing some reading about sort of the aftermath of carnegie after his death that the internationalization of the carnegie course in the carnegie principles sort of followed the trail of the western expansion of the american economy after world war ii. i think it's particularly western ideas that have to do a certain bureaucratic capitalism in the way things work as i think it became suitable church markets around the world. that's where the action is.
5:50 pm
i believe some are the carnegie company told me that increasingly prefers their big effort bigger for western europe and increasingly in recent years it's been in asia. i think the logic of that becomes a little bit clearer as markets begin to permeate asian economies as well. so i think that the general trajectory of that. >> could i ask a last question? >> absolutely. >> desert of mention in passing a religious bringing as parents. dh lawrence writing about benjamin franklin and other parts of american literature very quickly american literature as a part of the sort of civic religion, not a real religion and misses the tragic elements and linux. how would you describe carnegie? is he still a religious man later in life? he clearly was when he was
5:51 pm
younger and influenced by his mother in particular. >> well, that's a good questions. the other dh lawrence taylor's never trust the teller. trust the tale. i think the tale of carnegie is carnegie he became sort of agnostic and revolted against his mother's stern protestantism. but interestingly in his late life i would say about mid-40s, the last decade or so of his life he returned to religion but in a peculiar sort of way. he did not return in terms of theology or denomination, but he returned to religion almost as a kind of meditation. and the last book, he talks a lot about the usefulness of religion, but it's very much in a kind of therapeutic setting. he says i'm traveling around the
5:52 pm
country. i everyday take 10 minutes and find a church. any church will do. then i go and then i sit quietly and think about little dale carnegie and that sort of makes everything come into it. so the tale of carnegie is complicated and i think there is a kind of renewed religiosity on the one hand. but on the other hand it's much in a therapeutic self-fulfillment rather than a kind of more traditional protestantism. i think that is more or less where he ended up. he was very close friends i should add if i could clinch the case and he once described when his work in the same street parking different sides of the street. [applause] >> thank you very much.
5:53 pm
>> thank you very much, professor watson. >> terry golway recounts tammany hall in new york city. political machine that controlled the city's democratic party in the 19th century has been miscast as crooked. instead he serves the tammany with the political voice was responsible for social and political reform, which included greater workers compensation, the ban on child labor. this is about an hour and 15 minutes. >> good evening, ladies and gentlemen. i'm rachel go way at irish arts center. i'm very happy to welcome you here tonight commits after st. patrick's day. thank you are coming to another irish event. tonight we are proud to present
5:54 pm
author terry golway, whose recent book, "machine made: tammany hall and the cration of modern american politics" presents another side of new york city's early 20th century political powerhouse. a sub for that operate at a force for good alongside political force that is the tammany that likely comes to mind. decide not to give immigrants equal footing in new york city responded progressively to events like the triangle factory fire and create the groundwork for politics in new york city as well as nationwide today. terry is a journalist for 30 years writing for the new york observer, the near times and other venues is the author of many articles and books including irish rebel john devoid an american spy for irish freedom in the cause of liberty, thousand years of violence heroes. he also phd from rutgers university and is currently director of the king university center for history, politics and policy in new jersey. kerry is joined onstage by the incomparable transfer it to 80 moloney shawn gramley and john
5:55 pm
keating to my left who will bring to light the voices of politicians, social workers and the anonymous immigrants during arab tammany hall. for a season irish arts center has the opportunity to invite such fine actors to ice age. thank you for joining us tonight. [applause] there'll be a question-and-answer period from the audience were at the end of the evening. while the microphone to pass around them and hope you stick around after the show. be sure to take a look and purchase the machine made in our gallery. terry will be there to sign and answer any questions. you may have seen an article about our new building in "the new york times" yesterday. if you haven't -- thank you. if you haven't, i believe their articles on-site pickup. i want to remind you that the reason we are building a new building is so we can create evenings like tonight for writers and performers like
5:56 pm
terry, john and sean for all of the musicians are playwrights, all of the artists that are part of the new york city and the irish artist community and for connect and what can create relationships with audiences like you. i thank you for joining us this evening. without further ado, i'd like to welcome terry to the stage. [applause] >> thank you, rachel. yes, i do have the bubonic plague. it's the reason for my questioning voice. if i seem ruder than usual to most of the rest are coming in its because i didn't want you to to get the plague. thank you. we are here today to talk about the history that isn't as well known but luckily thanks to the
5:57 pm
inspiration of the man i dedicated the book to, peter quinn, i learned quite a bit about tammany hall the last few years and would like to share some of that story tonight. most of us i think would be fair to say have heard of tammany hall. some even other tammany holliston actually building. some may know that tammany hall was the message the democratic party in manhattan until about 1960. if you live near union square repay a visit there from time to time, you may know that tammany hall the building still exists. it was declared an official city landmark a few months ago. regardless of whether you know these details are not, you probably understand the idea of "self-help tammany. we know that it shut down
5:58 pm
contract nurse, intimidated opponents and ask him even shut down access lanes to the george washington bridge. [laughter] sorry. actually, i meant to say that tammany helped build the george washington bridge and they did it in exactly 40 years, which is the great daniel patrick moynihan often pointed out was eight months ahead of schedule and $15 million under budget. that was my pat moynihan imitation for those of you who didn't know. so anyway, it is fair to say that his three does not have politicians and those who voted particularly the irish. tammany hollis probably un-american, but a distinctly un-american and its ideals because it represents the broad distinction between what may be
5:59 pm
called anglo-saxon ideals of character of public service and accounting ideals of care. public service. >> alister may new york journal called the outlook. and then there's this. >> show the refuse of continents, scallions be permitted to dictate what tammany must do? >> i was walt whitman, the poet of the common man discussing tammany's voters. and let's not forget what they were saying about tammany in other places. >> the irish menus essay shalini. it threatened with ruin every anglo-saxon policy and anglo-saxon civilization around the world. >> so wrote a report in the british journal in 19 century. cement his reputation for a brass knuckle politics are so widespread that the organization even made a cameo appearance on
6:00 pm
the floor during the passionate debate over the anglo-irish treaty in 1921. michael collins, attacked his former comrades at one point for the tactics in opposition to the treaty. >> we will have no tammany hall whether you're farther treacy were against it. without tammany hall methods. >> which led kerry board who opposed the treaty had just returned to dublin from new york to reply. >> i don't know anything about tammany hall. if there's a little trailing a tammany hall and reserved some of his bullying recharge, we would not be in the position we are in today. >> those were regrettably fighting words. so that's one view of tammany hall, a very familiar view. but there's another side to the legendary political organization. if a site that historians and journalists generally have explored although some pretty prominent voices have offered
6:01 pm
testimonials to work on behalf of immigrants, the poor, the alienated and the despised. frances perkins was the highlight of social worker in the early 20th century, a reformer from new england who is new to the politics of new york, which he arrived here in 1910. to her surprise and shock of her colleagues, she found much to like about tammany figures like to make man s. and of course al smith. >> i had gained a man serving in the senate. i am sure i would've had a glass of with and an cotton on to tell me what times were like. >> is perkins worked with tammany politicians to achieve dramatic social change in the second decade of the 20th century, to realize that some of her colleagues in the reform movement had it wrong about the nation's most infamous political
6:02 pm
machine. >> once when i worked in a settlement house, a woman asked me, came to ask for help after her son was arrested. the sun was the sole support of the family. if he went to prison, the woman and her young daughter would have no means of support. my colleagues in the settlement house decided the mother was not worth the hotel. i was aghast. i walked over to the headquarters of the macmanus political club, which was the tammany clubhouse in the area. i asked to see senator macmanus. i told him about the senator told me to come back at the same time the following day. i did. the senator told me that the boy was being released. i don't know how he did it, but i'm sure it was a regular. i once told my colleagues when i was younger that if i had the right to vote, i would be a
6:03 pm
democrat. they were shocked. one of them said, well look at this, dear they have. >> rents is perkins went on to work with tammany politicians in the years to calm them in 1933, she became franklin roosevelt's labor secretary, the first women cabinet officer in american history. here's another view of tammany that you don't often hear. on july 4th, 1937 at the evil independence day commemoration, one of the machines greatest numbers, senator robert wagner had this to say about the machines place in history. >> over 30 years ago, the social welfare legislation. we forgot the lost souls tied to a night the fact revenge. about that time a small group from tammany hall where the good to serve.
6:04 pm
we remember these lost souls and guided them to an earthly salvation. we passed a law after law and made new york the shining mark for the world to emulate. tammany hall made justly claim the title of the cradle of the modern liberalism in america. >> robert wagner was one of the prime sponsors of the social security act and the national labor relations act and the federal housing, making him the greatest legislator of the new deal era. so he knew something about the birth of modern liberalism. so did another tammany figure though he's been largely forgotten. charles francis or was the leader, the boss of tammany from 1902 to his death in 1924. and when he died, one of new york's best known political figures issued a moving tribute. >> new york city democratic organization has lost probably
6:05 pm
the strongest, wisest leader he's had in generations. he's a genius at the same time recognize the world moved on as well to remember the years how to accomplish in the way of progressive legislation, social welfare. >> those are the words of franklin delano roosevelt. so while this is making your head spin. if somehow the world seems turned upside down or just grab hold of your chair or the person next to you. or just close your ears for hour or so. just remember, management is not responsible for damage caused by exploding myths. [laughter] one myth that remain intact tonight is the connection between tammany hall and the irish.
6:06 pm
although tammany existed long before the great waves of immigration it became conspicuously irish organization during its heyday. many politicians who dominated the organization in the late 19th and early 20th centuries were given immigrants are the children of famine emigrants. in fact hiding in plain sight for many decades. somehow the significance of this has escaped the conventional tellers of tales prefer to believe the children sought to leave the hunger of others simply because they won votes. the question of how and why they came to dominate other important that unless academics. tammany politics resembled life. people waited their turn and there was great respect for
6:07 pm
hierarchy and authority. i take the story back to a single election in ireland in 1926 when the great liberator daniel o'connell was riding high in ireland's catholics are organizing to demand full civil rights, including the right to hold public office in the nation they dominated. until the 1820s, politics in ireland is a great team decided to keep minority in power at the expense of the majority. in 1826 o'connell's organization challenge the status quo in an election for the house of commons seat from county warfare. mcconnell's deputy thomas wiese came up with a plan of campaign that would sound familiar to many in the decades to come. he set down agents into the county to persuade catholic voters to do the unthinkable, to vote against the chosen
6:08 pm
candidate of their landlords. to those who declare publicly. so to vote against the landlord was either a brave or foolish thing to do. rice's appeal made headway, but many of the farmers wanted something in return for their vote. as one voter put it became so laments her man's heart but not the valley. they ask about jobs and even new places to live if their landlord evicted them in a fit of partisan nastiness to reduce new jersey proud. republican named john power told weiss about the problems he encountered when he opened his path to the catholic association selection agents. >> i turned against my landlord. i've been reduced to extreme power and starvation and contempt for the opposition. so i must humbly beg you to do
6:09 pm
something on my behalf. >> powers signed the letter and margin acceptor dictating into a friend or associate. >> these poor irish didn't have much, but they had the one thing in which a democracy make them less powerful and they had the vote. and they're willing to use the power of that boat to improve the condition. if you're looking for the roots of tammany hall sensibility i can't think of a better place to start but not election in waterford in 1826. within 20 years of the election, always changed. the fan into populated the island, transforming noxious island, but american cities to which they fled. the famine type the irish and a lesson in local power. those who hold power and those without it they start.
6:10 pm
the starving irish look to the government for help only to find the scowling face of charles trevelyan, the chief administrator in charleswood, chancellor of the exchequer. both believe that the irish character was weak and flawed. too much assistance would only lead to dependence. only the word they were deserving of charity. >> the problem with the irish as they are dependent on government. if we are to pay them, we shall have total population sooner working. >> he understood the terrible things are happening in ireland, but whose fault is that? >> great event with which we have to contend is not the physical payment, but the selfish, perverse and turbulent
6:11 pm
character of the field. >> eventually trevelyan hoped ireland would learn an important lesson from starvation. >> a proper business and the government is to enable private individuals of every rank and professional life to carry on their occupations with freedom and safety from interfering as little as possible in the business of the landowner, merchant, moneylender or any other function of social life. the mac as they disperse across the atlantic world, emigrants reached a different conclusion about the proper business of government. when they were starving, the government told them they lacked character. when government offered a, they have support to prove they were worthy. as survivors and their children built new lives in new york and elsewhere, they made it clear through their vote and through their actions that they regarded those who provided jobs and help as their friends.
6:12 pm
and those who offered distain and moral uplift as their enemies. when the same as survivors arrived in new york, they found at least one voice willing to speak the truth about the catastrophe that was unfolding in ireland. bishop john hughes, the natives of carnage around was among the first to argue starvation in ireland is not the result of famine, but of heartless economic dialogue. >> the political economy from the irish people too poor to pay for the harvest of their labor and is exported into a better market, leaving them to die of famine in the same political economy authorizes the provision, even in the desolation to keep the doors locked and tied up waiting for a better pass. the rights of life are jeering higher furthers the property and there is no law northbay shares
6:13 pm
that for busy starving men to cease wherever he can find it. >> when the children of the famine assumed power of new york to generation later, they show the same respect for victorian economic dogma that hughes did. it's impossible to understand irish-american politics, to understand tammany hall without acknowledging the famine. they can directly link specific little actions or positions or perhaps that silent, the sounds of shame and a sense of grief speaks volumes. there is no question that examine memory haunted irish-american a century or more ago. it's hiding in plain sight. for example, the great union leader and bubble browser once explained the difference between act just like yourself and middle-class leaders of the women's movement.
6:14 pm
>> this issue here is that others have never been face to face with hunger or eviction. >> charlie or feed his family did have a face-to-face encounter never saw the family member to see why tammany support the social welfare reforms of the early 20th century but then again perhaps they didn't have to. perhaps misunderstood. but tens of thousands of famine exiles and sellers of the five-point and other neighborhoods, many americans consider their country under attack. a new political movement recruited more than a million in just a few in 1854. they swept democrats and wakes out of office in cities up and down the east coast. one congressman, up-and-coming from tammany hall chose not to run for reelection. his place was congressman from
6:15 pm
ahead eastside was taken by thomas whitney is the founder of the know nothing movement. several months after his election, whitney denounced catholic immigrants on the floor of the house. >> most of the papers in this country are for and. they with them the anti-american influences, prejudices and superstitions of their church. >> is just one catholic congressmen left in washington after the know nothings salt of 1854. his name was john kelley, a tammany man and the son of irish immigrants. he rose and reply to whitney. >> a government like ours, the rest of no class however humble can be assailed without endangering the rights of all. persecutor of today on religious intolerance barely started on this disastrous course will inevitably become the enough tomorrow. >> even if the nation was splitting apart over slavery,
6:16 pm
parts of the north were bitterly divided over immigration, religion and the very meaning of what it meant to be an american. in that battle, tammany hall was on the side of toleration and pluralism. a tammany resolution passed during the height of the know nothing movement made its position clear. >> so resolved to my declared the greatness and glory of the republic but materially advanced by the industry, energy and pitcher at his mother large portion of citizens. >> these are more than words, more than campaign memory. this is a statement of principle at a time when segments of the population believed immigrants were the bane of the nation are trained on the country's resources and american identity. just tammany had his reasons for welcoming immigrants. asaba newcomer says protection voters and for some critics shrewd calculation was unprincipled. but what is the alternative?
6:17 pm
without tammany come immigrants would be left to the prejudices and know nothings like thomas with he who believes only nativeborn anglo-saxon protestants were worthy of citizenship. but veltri became the bass of tammany the civil war, was caught in his hand and his other hand in his feet in the municipal cookie jar, reformers were astounded irish constituents continue supporting they voted for him even after he was arrested on corruption charges in 1871. it certainly was corrupt. in fact i'm emitted full commission to the board of aldermen, which is one of the most gilded age to. but he was so sweet dependable friend of immigrants at a time when tweets social betters insisted that the irish could not be assimilated into anglo-american democracy. as a state senator, they found that the growing catholic social
6:18 pm
service network of orphanages, shelters and medical facilities under the watch of john hughes before the civil war. many institutions were run by those opposed to the efforts of private charities to try to break up families and said immigrant children out of the city and away from the priests, the nuns, the parishes and tammany. the inner part of the state board of charities and 81077 made the following assertions. >> most cases are the result of providence drunkenness or other forms of intelligence which are frequently if not universally hereditary in character. the sooner families can be separated and broken up, the better it will be for the children and for society at large. >> the irish nuns who dominated dierks catholic charities sought to quiet the passionate battle against this kind of thing.
6:19 pm
timmy took decided the nuns beating back efforts by groups like the national league for the protection of american institutions, which sought to stop state funding of religious charities. the head of the group, a methodist preacher named james king argued that the charity should not receive state on for one simple reason. >> impossibly good citizen at the same time. >> tammany star sitters provide a catholic charitable organization people like the referent team. tammany's critics were not entirely wrong when it rained tammany in the catholic church were aligned with each other. tammany chose john kelley to save john kelley who defied the know nothings in 1854 to be his first irish catholic leader in 1890, killing a tammany elected the first irish catholic immigrant mayor who fled the
6:20 pm
famine as a teenager and became a wealthy shipowner. grace was subjected to a campaign of slander that might sound familiar. the new york tribune with a sensational story charging that grace was not a citizen of the united states. by the tribune did not say whether they believe grace was born in kenya. at the paper did argue that there would be tears certainly could not have been citizen. after they produce the paperwork to "new york times" was so frightened they produce this piece of writing on the morning of the election. >> to choice is between irish catholic and american protestant, a lot honorable record. >> for many others the choice is
6:21 pm
clear. the irish catholic one because tammany was better organized than it contacted us. tammany boss john kelley impose tight discipline in strict order over tammany's army of district precinct captains and all the other healers in the city's neighborhoods. they noted that kelley system certainly resembled the catholic hierarchy. in the field doing the work of the organization for tammany's parish priest, dozens of the steelers note the neighborhood and their neighbors. they know who needed a job, a favor for a friend and they defended the poor reformers try to restrict voting glitches to the middle class in which property owners in the late 19th century. one of those reformers, andrew white, the president of cornell university had this complaint about the ill effects of universal suffrage.
6:22 pm
>> in american cities freshly from irish bondservant he-man lines are in italian rather may exercise the vote of a single tenement house managed by a professional politician will neutralize the votes of an entire street of well-to-do citizens. >> tammany of course would take their complaints as a compliment. how did they do a quick set of these peasants from the mine, from the robert mess, how did they exercise such power in a city of such conspicuous wealth and privilege? they did it to organization. they do to tammany, which is by reformers such after white and others so loathed machine. empowered those considered unworthy of power and indeed unworthy of the bow. the president of yale university made it clear what he thought made it clear what he thought made it clear what he thought
6:23 pm
made it clear what he thought and that the voters should the massive city proletarians that to be excluded. >> tammany had a very different view of democracy. tim and encourage people to vote a lot. [laughter] sometimes more than once. tammany boss richard kroeker who succeeded kelley as the boss in 1886 so loathed the democratic process that he voted not once, not twice, but 17 times in 1865. the heart of tammany's power with this court district leaders, individuals in each of the city's assembly of ours also both for getting out the vote and knowing the personal stories and problems of a thousand to look at the district. those leaders in turn relied on
6:24 pm
lesser tammany operatives who were in charge of a single block or a tenement house. one of those election districts as a woman who ran the second assembly district of the lower east side of the neighborhood was transforming from an irish neighborhood to one of the great jewish communities in the world. they became a district leader in the early 20th century and for those of you keeping score at home, yes, that means she was a tammany district leader two decades before she had the right to vote. tammany was not necessarily ahead of its time on the question of women's suffrage. they have no problem exerting her authority as the base of tammany on orchard street, which was part of her district. >> have a practical politician. i've lived on the lower east side since 1876 and i've used the tried-and-true tammany methods. you can't make a speech and get
6:25 pm
to the individual. >> should get that in the most personally possible. when she heard one of the covers on orchard street, when she was ill with tuberculosis to the southwest where the arab driver. on another occasion as she made her way through the maze, a woman approached her with tears in her eyes. she was a peddler and set up shop on the corner. porsches intervened, but the cops were right. the old woman was in the wrong place. so she did what any good tammany district leader would have done. he gave the cops the orders. >> is though, justice was done on the lower east side. tammany had a way of getting under the skin of the city's elite, many of whom could be described as anglo-saxon
6:26 pm
supremacist. tammany politicians challenged the anglo-american sense is that the poor had only themselves to blame and charity should be reserved for those considered worthy of assistance. the legendary tammany district leader, state senator and aerial jobholder, george washington tech at once explained used his own money to help distressed families in his district. it was pointless to direct families to private charities. many of them are discussed with their ideas of character and virtue, something they shared of course but the administrator of famine relief. >> private charities would investigate communities and decided they were worthy of hope about the time they were dead from starvation. >> tammany's boss was similarly skeptical of the various private charities that looked for character flaws, usually tied to
6:27 pm
religion north city. to explain why the poor were so poor. so a friend who grew up in poverty retained vivid memories going without shoes as a child. when he attained and influence he became a neighborhood legend for his charitable works, including his annual giveaway when the batteries poured my neck to receive free shoes. sullivan explained his views. >> never ask a hungry man about his past. i fear him not because he's good. tammany figures also challenged american expansion overseas at the turn of the 20th century. progressives like teddy roosevelt believed in spreading anglo-saxon civilization to places like hawaii, the philippines, cuba and central america. tammany boss richard kroeker was among the most vocal opponents of america's imperialistic designs on foreign lands.
6:28 pm
an immigrant from ireland, kroeker retained a very irish in a very old-fashioned american view of imperialism. he once told reporters. >> let me explain what i mean. it means opposition to know everybody who speaks english. it seems to be people don't speak english. >> kroeker was criticized as a numbskull for that is. years later when the same joint cultural conservatives in an effort to restrict immigration, congressman william cochran, the native of slackware bitterly opposed the neonatal is maneuvered directing stop not so much as the irish, the southern europeans and the jewish. in 1922 as congress is considering legislation that
6:29 pm
would lead to restrictions in 1924, cochran told the hebrew a society. >> immigration restriction is an annunciation, which has made this country the greatest agency for civilization in the history. it appeals to that peculiar but sinister experience of hate that seems to be sweeping over the world. personally, i do that much more important than a man should work effectively, even though he cannot speak our language can be fluent in several languages and inefficient industry. >> tammany lost that battle but by 1924 account of the most remarkable victories in new york's history and albicans in 1902 and a longtime district leader named charles francis murphy became tammany's undisputed leader. murphy's father had fled the famine and he and his siblings were brought up in the old gas house district section of
6:30 pm
manhattan just above 14th street by the eastside. murphy was quiet and reserved. i called him fat charlie. in 1911 he provided two young men from poor backgrounds. al smith and barbara wagner to leadership positions in the state assembly and senate respectively he would go on to mentor other young politicians, including jeremiah mahoney and olympic athlete, lawyer and judge. mahoney gained fame later on in his life when he led the field boycott of the 1936 olympic games germany to protest treatment of the. during murphy's on tenure as bios, tammany said the lead in supporting new laws and regulations that challenged the very economic dogma that allowed a million irish people to start to death during the famine. tammany south smith and robert wagner let a sleeping
6:31 pm
investigation of working conditions after the terrible shirtwaist fire in the village of 1911. as a result of their work, tammany passed dozens of new laws that put into place the beginnings of the modern social safety net. the owners of buildings and factories could no longer manage their property as they saw fit. government had a right to decide on the proper workweek or how much the labor and canal system should earn in a day. society have an obligation to help workers injured on the job. families with nowhere to turn should not be denied assistance regardless of their culture, their beliefs or their worthiness. critics were astonished. a few years later, al smith explains bearing out to distinct groups in new york politics now. >> one group believes the constitution and statute law is intended only for the protection
6:32 pm
of property. the other group believes law and democracy is not a design principle, but exists in the great escape to the greatest number and for many of the needs of present-day society. >> it is a theory that made him very popular with the immigrants and children of immigrants who came to see tammany as their ally. but there is another political figure in new york to find smith's theory of track days. franklin roosevelt entered politics in 1910 s. and valid tammany all. said charles francis murray was obnoxious weed that needed to be plucked out. by the 1920s he changed his mind. some might argue this is a simple calculation that was feldspar. he was sent vicious and tammany had the power to further. we consider this maybe, just maybe franklin roosevelt came to
6:33 pm
see that tammany was on the right side of his tree. on the right side of toleration, on the right side of reform and on the right side of religious and ethnic diversity. roosevelt made his peace with charles murphy and became one of al smith's most enthusiastic supporters. tammany offered roosevelt a week to remain active in politics after he contracted polio in 1921 and was no longer considered a viable political figure. truth told he did not always appreciate fdr's assisted. the fact that smith's campaign manager how to explain to smith's white roosevelt support was important. >> help take some of the curse off. [laughter] >> frank roosevelt nominated al smith for president in 1924.
6:34 pm
tammany hall took on the ku klux klan at the democratic national convention in madison square garden. the clearing was one of the largest caucuses. smith didn't win the nomination that year, the franklin was located plants for tammany's favorite son. not long after we smith wrote this -- roosevelt wrote this letter to smith who was telling people he would not run for president in 1928. >> i know perfectly well that you as you read this letter seedier so quite honestly that you are not a candidate for 1928. nevertheless, you will be a candidate in 1928 whether you like it or not and i want to see you as strong a candidate as it is honestly possible to make you when the convention meets. >> tammany was a candidate in 1828. the son of the lower east side
6:35 pm
and proud member of tammany hall became the first catholic, the first nonprofit sent to any major presidential nomination only to lose of course the landslide to herbert hoover. in that year's election, cities that often voted republican flipped them voted democratic often for the first time in years. in 1832 when franklin roosevelt won the white house, he built on the support that al smith inspired urban areas and in her again last. one political scientist noted before there was a roosevelt revolution, there was an al smith revolution. the man who turned roosevelt revolution into the legislation was another tammany man, senator robert wagner. wagner was among the chief sponsors of the social security act single-handedly won passage of the national labor relations act which roosevelt was not so keen on and that of course made
6:36 pm
it easier to organize. he also offered legislation creating the first federal housing program. even as he gained fame as one of the nation's greatest legislators, robert wagner remained true to his roots. he once explained the political philosophy this way. >> my boyhood was a pretty rough passage. some people believe no matter how many handicaps you have to do have the wiki near you can rise to the top. that's bunk. for everyone who rises to the top, it's destroyed. >> female figures that al smith, robert wagner, jeremiah mahoney and others never lost sight of those who through no fault of their own did not and could not rise to the top. tammany boss richard kroeker noted that critics complained that he asked. he did not disagree. >> if we go down it is because there are men in the guider and
6:37 pm
you have to go down where they are if you're going to do anything with them. >> by the late 1930s there was clear to him and his mission. the social welfare system implemented in new york is now incorporated in the new deal. the children and grandchildren of the lower east side were winning that battle reclusion and cultural respect. through the efforts of people like smith and wagner and with the assistance of courageous allies like frances perkins, the nation put aside the economic dogma of the victorian era. government could and would intercede to soften the of the callous marketplace. that was and remains one of the greatest legacies. tammany receded from power as the city changed after world war ii is commonly known. in the early 1960s, they died a painful death at the hands of some brilliant young reformers,
6:38 pm
including blankets ryan and manfred orenstein. but there were still some who remember the glory days. on a midwinter evening in early 1973, 20 members of the inner one of club trudged up two flights of what once dares to spend one last night in charlie murphy's old article clubhouse. some came with extra cash because the club was auctioning off his last possessions of the proceeds to be split up among remaining members. the old man in the crowd spoke of other days when the club sponsored an annual fee steak dinner and local politicians stop by to shake hands, choose the political facts. there's a different neighborhood now, better in many ways. the old gas house district given way to dozens of lowrise brick apartment buildings put up in the 1940s to house world war ii veterans and their families.
6:39 pm
they were decent people, hard-working and ambitious. but they didn't have the same connection bjorkman complained. the schoolteacher with a two bedroom apartment, the cop with a nice three bedroom deal didn't know. they saw no reason to come out on cold nights to talk politics in second-floor clubhouse about the general. one of the younger people in the crowd walked away with the clubs poker chips $2. an old-timer when a small bidding war for the club's grandfather clock. a minor city official with the largest amount it for any object for the rights to torture it. it does address one of the old-timers by the club decided to close down. >> what's the difference. people nowadays don't sit and talk politics.
6:40 pm
they don't even know the name of their district leader. time to move on your >> the old-timers when an eager young man point down 10 bucks they said he wanted one of the clubs pool tables. then he put down $5 said he wanted the club's big save. and then he realized his problem. there's no way he was getting the pool table and save down the stairs. not by himself. the old ones and what would happen. he asked for help. and he'd get it. no questions asked. [applause] [cheers and applause] >> i want to thank my district
6:41 pm
leaders. [applause] well, it's question time. by the way, first of all for the historians in the audience does not include peter quinn because he makes up everything. everything you just heard from these brilliant actors was a quote, a real quote and if you have to footnote this, i would say it's a long soliloquy by frances perkins i did fiddle with a little bit just for the record. the last quote about the politics on the stoop and everything else is actually a combination. so if you're going to criticize -- if you ask a question about my services comments on the record. everything else, including some of those amazingly nasty close were actually taken from
6:42 pm
original sources and appear in my book should you wish to check my book. so i'm happy to take any questions. now the house lights are off and i can be. i would've been so nervous if anywhere out there. yes. sure. >> thank you rematch. this is really wonderful. some are in the book the relationship with tammany to the general relationship of the machine to african-american. >> well, the question of the draft is interesting because in some ways of course the draft riots was not a function, the tammany did get involved in not originally when it was becoming
6:43 pm
clear after the riots were admitted after five days of the draft was suspended. of course we all know the inherent fairness of the draft. people like teddy roosevelt's father could put up $300 you're out of the draft for these irish people, many of whom are children and immigrants themselves. they couldn't get out. so when the draft was suspended, lincoln made it clear to new york, this is only a suspension. you have to figure out how to make this draft work and you have about a month to do it. so samuel tilden who is a big shot lawyer made his money by collecting fees and therefore of course never took a bribe. samuel tilden had this brilliant idea to sue the federal
6:44 pm
government for imposing an unconstitutional draft. boss tweed basically took him aside and said you know what justice goliad is going to say? i have a better idea. with tammany halted at tammany's suggestion is they took guided bombs they could pay the $300 for any man who wanted out of the trash. now it was neat and simple in principle it to an address started again in a month, there is no uprising. in terms of tammany's relations with african-americans, tammany style switcher poker was an honorary member of tammany's african-american component, which is called the united color democracy. kroeker was the only white member. so tammany was not about healing
6:45 pm
race relations. tammany was about reorganizing the lives of the four irish immigrants. it would be great to see if they were ahead of their time for progressive. but here's the deal. democrats in the south were taking the vote away from black people. tammany was encouraging black people to go. i think that makes a big difference. yes, right in front here. >> thank you. this is very interesting and very informative. i had been under the impression that tammany rose with the irish and what you're suggesting that tammany already resisted when the irish came. so how did it really began? >> the last time the question
6:46 pm
was asked to have somebody on the panel has started with the founding of the pennsylvania colony. i'm not going to take you back that far. as an organization was founded in 17 name is as a social club. the guys go out, pound out a few beers, and then talk politics. one thing led to another and they became involved in politics because the politicians in new york including aaron or realize if you get a bunch of guys together you can though. so tammany sort of morphed from a code to a political idealization. it certainly was in place in the same in arrived. it was not the power that it became until the irish harnessed the power and turned it into the organization that we know it today. >> hi, thanks. two questions if i may. one was if you could elaborate
6:47 pm
on what gave the know nothings that huge political push that they had and 54 and also the relationship between the new york city police department, fire department seems to be a lot of stuff there. >> yes, there is. the answer to your first question is very simple. it's not that that no movement arises seemingly out of nowhere as immigrants coming in. the tail end of the famine is in the early 1850s and 1854 you have this movement. connect the dots. in terms of the relations with the police, tammany certainly has its hooks in the police department. i was one of the things murphy changeling took over in 1902 and a lot of police corruption certainly was rooted in tammany. some of the corruption came out of this looking way, for
6:48 pm
example, when the closing esalen saint-saens may was enforced by bluenoses like teddy roosevelt. so when you have a law that deprives a working person of a drink on his only day off, tammany says we are not necessarily an police will collect their fees for looking the other way and you have the structure. believe me, the corruption is more complex than that. as far as i can tell i don't know a great deal about the police department, but the fire department i know. the connections are there, but it's not as though you had to be a tammany member to get a job in the fire department. cert nature of the volunteer days before 1865 if you're a volunteer firefighter, chances are your classic example. the kroeker was also a volunteer
6:49 pm
firefighter. was the professional department was put in place in 1865. pity 1880s, to irish immigrants, the other guys name escapes me. but these two irish immigrants who lived rose to become chiefs in the fire department and they put in place civil service test basically for the fire department. so there was no getting around it. when one of the great reformers was elected mayor in 1901 on the anti-tammany ticket, the first thing he did was he fired the fire chief. at kroeker, who is richard kroeker's nephew charging the kroeker obviously had tetanus shot through connection when in fact he had it. kroeker to this day is one of the great heroes of the fire department of new york. so it goes to show you this sort of bias and bigotry went both ways. question right here.
6:50 pm
>> w.r. grace. he ran with tammany hall to his first election if i'm not mistaken. the second time in the select did he did not. is that correct? what happened? >> well, the stories these people had this terrible habit of not writing things down. but kelley and grace -- kelley was the boss. kelley and grace came to a bit -- had a bit of a battle over patronage. the story that i've read his grace, like some other people elected, like woodrow wilson when he was selected with the support of new jersey's regime takes the oath of office in the first thing he says is you know guys on the thank you or
6:51 pm
support, but don't come to me for any help. grace basically told kelley, don't come to me with a list of job seekers. so i think kelley thought grace was ungrateful as charlie murphy would later accuse the governor of new jersey and a tammany guide elect did in 1912 immediately sent by mail in. he was impeached. the only governor of new york ever impeached. so grace -- frankly grace is never a good friend for tammany. he was one of the richest people in new york. when he ran for mayor again in 1884, he ran as a candidate for the county democracy, which was kind of the rich man's democratic party and he won
6:52 pm
despite. if i'm ignoring you in fact, sorry. >> have you known me that long quick >> i've known you too long, franklin. i'd like your give on white tammany still existed how they accommodated themselves to john ray mitchell is ultimately. >> either a comic i've are your voice? just a few more minutes. john wayne mitchell is the grandson of the great irish teacher, john mitchell. but john ray mitchell is not your house with your dear. he went to florida. what does that tie you? but he was an accomplished lawyer. he was a reformer. he was elected mayor in 1913 as voters were frankly repulse by
6:53 pm
the impeachment of governor. he was elected in probably as i say in my book, engaged in first class efficient the answer class politics. he sort of held himself above his fellow irish catholics. it's too hard to get into, but in essence the crack and on some catholic and the two nations, involved in school controversy. so he was probably the most popular figure in new york and subsequently lost his reelection to tammany in 1972 and this sounds like a joke, but it's not. he was going on a training mission and actually thought of his plane.
6:54 pm
some people actually think of a suicide. so mitchell sort of disappeared in city history after that. laguardia was a different story. she was a reformer's dream come true. i she spoke italian he looked like lou costello. you know, he looked like a guy up from city streets. there was nothing snooty about fiorello the cardio. robert moses once said he could speak to people's grievances in five different languages. so tammany had no playbook for this. not laguardia was elected with a minority vote as in less than
6:55 pm
50% in 1933 because democrats were split. of course he subsequently was elected in 1987. can i never figured out the party at the very many things that cause the death of tammany, not least of which is success. i was one of bad. but in 1938, when the laguardia administration was caught up in a police scam, the sort of thing tammany was known for, laguardia said i need a special prosecutor. i need somebody. so he called in the tammany district for the 36th district, the holiday who would vote against 1937.
6:56 pm
see you at a tammany district leader investigating police for a reformer administration. new york city history is very complicated. [applause] >> if i could just ask one quick question. what role did the restaurant play in tammany hall? >> i ate and there a lot. tammany until 1929, the tammany was on 14th street. i couldn't tell you who went to the she has inherited. but certainly it was then i hang out at that time. idea mark >> sure, pederastic typically brilliant question about this
6:57 pm
breaking with roosevelt. in 1932, all smith thought he had taken one team in 1928 and everybody married democrat was going to win. franklin roosevelt had declared his candidacy after frankly three not necessarily spectacular years as governor of new york. he would've been the first to say this, bill, al smith had handed him in 1928. so roosevelt declared smith in february night team 32 declares and i think he fell pyrites that he was entitled to it. roosevelt would have none of it. roosevelts employed at flynn who is the leader of the bronx and charlie murphy's prot├ęge and
6:58 pm
flynn and jim farley, two irish-american politicians basically ran roosevelts campaign. roosevelt ran for chicago in 1932 and smith was so upset by the fact he actually left the convention. but thereafter, tammany and smith were pretty much bitterly opposed to roosevelt. some of it was the bitterness of the fact that roosevelt seemingly had put pressure on schumacher to resign as mayor in 1931 and felt that had been unfair, that that had been unfair. but what -- there is sadly in this history of tammany and the history of al smith, this. where the president of the
6:59 pm
united state is doing all the things that tammany was staffed for any tammany is on the outside looking in. i kind of see smith as tragic. i think a lot of it was personal. i just find it hard to believe that smith alternates of the franklin roosevelt was doing was so wrong. but you know, politics is personal and not had a lot to do with it. does that answer your question? thank god. that the test.
7:00 pm
yes, billy. >> i wanted to know what your take was at 1928 when roosevelt once in its seat smith with down to such a crushing defeat. what is your take on your research on their relationship at that time during 1929? >> that's a good question. the relationship between smith and roosevelt began to deteriorate this in his roosevelt takes over as governor. he did not appoint two of smith's top people, bill moscowitz and robert moses. you know, politics that peter quinn has come at the way you can understand that, you are taking away from this legend or you


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on